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December 17, 2023
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 min read

A Practical Guide to Protecting Data in Motion

Discover practical strategies for securing data in motion across digital channels. Explore Strac's features to ensure compliance and mask sensitive data.

A Practical Guide to Protecting Data in Motion
Calendar Icon White
December 17, 2023
Clock Icon
 min read

A Practical Guide to Protecting Data in Motion

Discover practical strategies for securing data in motion across digital channels. Explore Strac's features to ensure compliance and mask sensitive data.


  • Data in motion or data-in-transit, is data that travels across networks, clouds, and devices, highlighting its vulnerability to cyber threats.
  • These data types include PII, financial information, confidential business data, and their specific security needs.
  • Businesses can secure data in motion with DLP , and placing security frameworks with control and monitoring mechanisms.
  • Strac helps secure data in motion, offering features like real-time PII and PHI detection with masking.

The potential risks and ramifications of unsecured data in transit are alarming. As per IBM Data Breach Report 2023, data breaches cost USD 4.45 million globally on average in 2023, an increase of 15% over the past three years. Information that is being transferred over networks, aka Data in motion, through the cloud, or between devices is particularly vulnerable, thus calling for robust data in motion security

Companies that fail to comply risk hefty fines, legal complications, and severe reputational damage. This guide will explore comprehensive strategies and practical solutions to securing data in motion. Let’s get started.

Types of data in motion: E-mail, SaaS apps, and Cloud platforms

1. E-mail Data in Motion

Intentionally or unintentionally, customer support reps or sales reps send emails containing the below elements require stringent protection measures. 

  • Personal Identifiable Information (PII)
  • Financial Information
  • Confidential Business Information
  • Attachments containing sensitive data

Best Practices:

  • Utilize encrypted email services to protect the content of emails.
  • Implement strong authentication protocols to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Conduct regular training and awareness programs to educate users about security threats.
  • Limit access to sensitive information by designating authorized users to minimize the risk of data breaches.

2. Data in Motion in SaaS applications

Types of data in motion in SaaS applications:

  • User Data (login credentials, activity logs)
  • Customer Data (profiles, purchase history)
  • Operational Data (analytics, performance metrics)
  • Collaborative Content (shared documents, project plans)

Best Practices:

  • Ensure Data Encryption for both in-transit and at-rest data.
  • Implement Role-Based Access Management to control who can view and modify data.
  • Conduct Regular Security Audits to identify and address vulnerabilities.
  • Secure API and Service Integrations to protect data exchanged with other services.

3. Cloud Platform Data in Motion

Types of cloud platform data in motion:

  • Stored Data Transfers
  • Inter-Service Data Exchange
  • Backup Data
  • API Data Exchange

Best Practices:

  • Use End-to-End Encryption to secure data during transfer.
  • Strengthen Network Security with tools like VPNs and firewalls.
  • Update Security Protocols Regularly to protect against new threats.
  • Utilize Data Loss Prevention Tools to monitor and protect data movement.

How do Businesses Secure Data in Motion?

Checklist on securing data in motion

Learning to secure data in motion is vital for businesses, as data moving between various networks and platforms becomes vulnerable to cyber threats. To mitigate these risks, businesses must adopt a multi-layered approach.

Data Classification and Identification

When protecting data in motion, businesses often start by categorizing data based on sensitivity and value. Personal Identifiable Information (PII), financial records, and other sensitive data types are identified for enhanced protection. This categorization is crucial in determining the level of security needed for different data types.

Furthermore, compliance regulations play a pivotal role in data classification. Laws like GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA dictate specific protection measures for certain data types. This helps businesses align their data classification strategies with legal requirements.

Developing a Robust Security Framework

Creating comprehensive data protection policies is the next step in securing data in motion. These policies outline the standards, procedures, and responsibilities for handling and transmitting data securely. Adopting best practices for handling sensitive information is important here. This includes enforcing strict access controls, using secure communication channels, and regularly updating security protocols to address emerging threats.

Control and Monitoring Mechanisms

To control data in motion, businesses implement device transfer restrictions. This limits data movement to authorized devices only, reducing the risk of data leakage or theft. In this case, real-time data tracing and monitoring are essential for detecting and responding to security incidents as they occur. These mechanisms provide visibility into data movement and enable quick action in case of suspicious activities.

Technological Solutions for Enhanced Security

Utilizing encryption and secure data transfer protocols is a key defense in data in motion security, protecting against data interception and unauthorized access. This ensures that data remains unreadable and secure during transit. 

A Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution like Strac helps protect data in motion by monitoring, detecting, and blocking sensitive data from being transferred or accessed unauthorizedly.

Advanced Security Measures

As far as data security is concerned, especially for protecting data in motion, two key components of these advanced security measures are file shadowing and data mirroring and robust network security solutions like firewalls and access controls.

  • File shadowing: File shadowing ensures that there is always a backup version of the file by creating an immediate copy of each file as it is created or modified. By maintaining these shadow copies, businesses can quickly recover lost data without significant downtime or data loss.
  • Data mirroring: Data mirroring takes the concept of file shadowing further by duplicating entire databases or data systems in real time. This method is particularly useful for critical data that requires high availability. If the primary system fails, the mirrored system can take over almost instantaneously, ensuring continuous access to data and minimal disruption to business operations.
  • Access controls: Access control mechanisms are essential for regulating who can view and use resources in a computing environment. Besides controlling access to network segments, defining policies for data transmission over the network is necessary.

How can Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Solution Help Mask Data in Motion?

Strac helps businesses mask and protect their data in motion. Strac can easily integrate with existing systems and can be leveraged across cloud services, SaaS applications and end-points.

1. Integrate With All Your SaaS Applications 

Offering broad integration support, Strac integrates with cloud and SaaS-based platforms such as Zendesk, Slack, Gmail, Office 365, Salesforce, Box, ChatGPT, and others. This wide-ranging integration capability provides a unified data security solution, covering all digital channels where data might be in motion.

2. Redact Data in Real-time

Strac employs advanced algorithms for redacting data in real time during transmission. It preserves data privacy by preventing unauthorized access and ensuring that sensitive information remains secure and indecipherable, even if intercepted. Simultaneously, its AI detects sensitive data in various formats like PDFs and DOCX, encrypting this information as it moves across networks. This dual approach of redacting and encryption safeguards data against interception, maintaining its confidentiality and integrity.

Let’s use Zendesk, as an example. You send a sensitive file such as a driver’s license and account details. 

Sensitive data in Zendesk tickets

Here’s what happens. The recipient receives a message with the account number (blackened text) and the pdf file containing the license redacted.

Redaction of sensitive data in Zendesk

The recipient also receives a message with a link to a vault that contains the redacted files. The recipient can view these messages if the administrator provides access. 

3. Configure and Set up What’s Sensitive and What’s not

Users can configure and set up Strac according to their companies' data policies. This allows Strac to classify and filter sensitive data based on your company’s security needs and data policies. 

4. Monitor and Control Data Transfers

The solution provides comprehensive monitoring of all data transfers through various channels. It can detect and block sensitive data from being sent out unauthorizedly, which prevents data exfiltration and leaks.

5. Comply with Data Protection Regulations

Strac complies with various data protection regulations such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, and more. This compliance feature helps protect sensitive customer data and ensures businesses meet their legal and ethical obligations regarding data security.

Source G2

6. Granular Access Controls

With Strac, businesses can implement fine-grained access controls. This feature allows organizations to define who can view or transmit sensitive data, ensuring access is restricted to authorized personnel.
Book a demo to learn more about Strac.


Q1. What does 'data in motion' typically involve?

Data in Motion typically involves transferring digital information across networks, devices, or the internet.

Q2. What risks does data in motion face?

Data in motion faces risks like interception, unauthorized access, alteration, and theft by cybercriminals.

Q3. Explain the different states of digital data.

Digital data exists in three states: at rest (stored data), in use (actively being processed), and in motion (being transferred).

Q4. How do DLP solutions enhance the security of data in motion?

A DLP solution secures data in motion by monitoring, detecting, and preventing unauthorized transmission or access of sensitive information.

Founding Engineer. Ex-Amazon Payments Security Engineer for 10 years.

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